Diagnostic performance of preoperative [18F]FDG-PET/CT for lymph node staging in vulvar cancer: a large single-centre study

Vittoria Rufini, Giorgia Garganese, Francesco P. Ieria, Tina Pasciuto, Simona Maria Fragomeni, Benedetta Gui, Anita Florit, Frediano Inzani, Gian Franco Zannoni, Giovanni Scambia, Alessandro Giordano, Angela Collarino

Risultato della ricerca: Contributo in rivistaArticolo in rivista

1 Citazioni (Scopus)


Purpose: This retrospective study aimed to assess the diagnostic performance of preoperative [18F]FDG-PET/CT in predicting the groin and pelvic lymph node (LN) status in a large single-centre series of vulvar cancer patients. Methods: Between January 2013 and October 2018, among all consecutive women with proven vulvar cancer submitted to [18F]FDG-PET/CT, 160 patients were included. LNs were analysed by two qualitative methods assessing PET information (defined as visual assessment) and a combination of PET and low-dose CT information (defined as overall assessment), respectively, as well as semi-quantitative analysis (LN-SUVmax). Sensitivity, specificity, accuracy, positive and negative predictive values (PPV and NPV) in predicting the groin and pelvic LN status were calculated in the overall study population; a subset analysis of groin parameters in clinically/ultrasonography negative patients was also performed. Histopathology was the reference standard. Results: All patients underwent vulvar and inguinofemoral LN surgery, and 35 pelvic LN surgery. Overall, 338 LN sites (296 groins and 42 pelvic sites) were histologically examined with 30.4% prevalence of metastatic groins and 28.6% for metastatic pelvic sites. In the overall study population, sensitivity (95% confidence interval, CI), specificity (95% CI), accuracy (95% CI), PPV (95% CI) and NPV (95% CI) at the groin level were 85.6% (78.3–92.8), 65.5% (59.0–72.0), 71.6% (66.5–76.8), 52.0% (44.0–60.1) and 91.2% (86.7–95.8) for visual assessment; 78.9% (70.5–87.3), 78.2% (72.5–83.8), 78.4% (73.7–83.1), 61.2% (52.3–70.1) and 89.4% (85.0–93.9) for overall assessment; and 73.3% (64.2–82.5), 85.0% (80.1–89.8), 81.4% (77.0–85.8), 68.0% (58.8–77.3) and 87.9% (83.4–92.5) for semi-quantitative analysis (SUVmax cut-off value 1.89 achieved by ROC analysis). Similar results were observed in the pelvis-based analysis. Conclusion: In this large single-centre series of vulvar cancer patients, [18F]FDG-PET/CT showed good values of sensitivity and NPV in discriminating metastatic from non-metastatic LNs. In routine clinical practice, qualitative analysis is a reliable interpretative criterion making unnecessary commonly used semi-quantitative methods such as SUVmax.
Lingua originaleEnglish
pagine (da-a)1-12
Numero di pagine12
RivistaEuropean Journal of Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging
Stato di pubblicazionePubblicato - 2021


  • 18
  • Lymph node staging
  • Personalized medicine
  • Vulvar cancer
  • [


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